How To Clean Grout and Remove Stains

Everybody enjoys a fun-filled day of cleaning moldy, mildewy grout. Not! This has to be one of the most tedious and time consuming household chores ever. Although the actual job is a pain, it must be done to keep your home clean and smelling fresh.

Many people don’t realize that odors can be held within the grout. The grout is also a wonderful place for dirt, grime and bacteria to live. I don’t want to live with that and I’d bet that you don’t either.

There are many grout cleaners available in stores. They are usually expensive and have caustic chemicals in them. This simple home remedy will have your grout looking great without the expense of or chemicals in readily purchased cleaners.

Cleaning Tools Needed:

  • Broom
  • Mop or sponge
  • Clean, soft cloth
  • Scrub brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Small container
  • Bucket

Grout Cleaner Recipe:

  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of dish detergent
  • Hot water

Steps to Clean:

  1. Sweep the entire area in which you plan to clean the grout with a broom. Be sure to get in the corners of the room as well. If the tiles are on the wall, be sure to dust them off to remove all dirt and cobwebs. Any dust or dirt will impede your progress.
  2. Put 1 cup of vinegar into the bucket. Add a gallon of very hot water. Squeeze the juice of a halved lemon into the bucket and then toss it into the bucket. The lemon tossed in the bucket is merely for the aroma and can be left out. The lemon juice that is added helps to make this an effective cleaner.
  3. Mop the floor thoroughly or scrub the tiles with a sponge using the solution in the bucket. The floor must be completely dry to continue, so sit down and have a cup of coffee. This will prepare yourself for the hard work ahead.
  4. Wash the bucket out thoroughly to remove all residue.
  5. In a small container, mix the baking soda with a cup of hot water and the juice of the remaining half of the lemon. Keep stirring the solution until it forms a thick paste.
  6. Use A scrub brush or toothbrush to apply the paste to the grouted areas. Work in small areas that are no larger than one square foot. Any larger area will only create a bigger mess.
  7. Scrub the grout in a circular motion. You will need to use some elbow grease to get the grime out of grout.
  8. Fill the bucket with warm water. Use the soft cloth to remove any remaining paste and to make the tile and grout sparkle.
  9. Continue this process throughout the tiled area for beautifully, clean grout.

Cleaning Mold and Mildew Stains:

Here are a few helpful tips if there is an area of the grout that is severely stained:

Commercial Products

1. To remove stains like from and mildew, purchase a product like Oxy-clean and make it into a paste by using hot water and the powder. You should apply it to your stained grout with an old toothbrush. Afterwards, you should scrub it and then dry with a towel.

2. You can also try a pumice stone. To use it, follow the instructions on the package, the most important thing to remember is to use lots and lots of water (keep it flowing) so you don’t damage the surface. Use a very light touch when cleaning.

3. Use a bleach pen that can be used directly on the grout that can get to stains in cracks and crevices and bleach staining from mold and mildew directly.

Homemade Products

4. Put a thickly sliced piece of lemon on it and let it set overnight. Rinse with cool water and the stain should be gone.

5. Make a paste out of some water, lemon juice and baking soda. Apply the paste to the mildewed or stained grout with a toothbrush and scrub away until it is shiny and clean.

6. Use a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water directly on the spot. Let it sit for about 20 minutes and then repeat the process. The grout stain should remove easily. Note: This method should only be used on plain not colored grout as it might bleach the color.

Keeping Your Grout Clean and Mildew Free:

After you have thoroughly cleaned the grout and there are no stains remaining, let it dry completely (about 3 to 5 days), then seal the grout.

This will help protect the grout from water seeping in and drying it out and help to keep it clean. Grout sealers can be purchased at home improvement stores and is recommended by many professionals that grout should be resealed every six months.

Reapplying grout sealer should always be done after you have aggressively cleaned it.

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